Cultural Amnesia: America's Future and the Crisis of Memory
Sixty percent of adult Americans don't know the name of the president who ordered the dropping of the first atomic bomb, 42% of college seniors can't place the Civil War in the right half-century, and 24% think Columbus discovered America in the 1500s. Meanwhile, more American teenagers can name the Three Stooges than the three branches of the federal government.
Applying the metaphor of Alzheimer's disease to our national state of mind, Bertman offers a chilling prognosis for our country's future unless radical steps for recovery are taken. He offers psychological insights into the nature of memory with perspectives on the meaning and future of democracy. With compelling evidence, the book demonstrates that cultural amnesia, like Alzheimer's disease, is an insidiously progressive and debilitating illness that is eating away at America's soul. Rather than superficially blaming memory loss on a failed educational system, Bertman looks beyond the classroom to the larger social forces that conspire to alienate Americans from their past: a materialistic creed that celebrates transience and disposability, and an electronic faith that worships the present to the exclusion of all other dimensions of time.
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THE CAUSES OF AMNESIA1 An Assault upon the Brain The absence of memory
, or amnesia , can be caused by an assault upon the brain . Such an assault can
take many forms . Physical Injury . In the case of Rees - Jones , the cause was ...
A Window on the Brain Despite earlier limitations , newer investigative
techniques now allow neuroscientists to gaze through a window on the brain.21
As a consequence of their stunning discoveries ( discoveries that , incidentally ,
THE STRUCTURE OF MEMORY A Universe Within In a single brain weighing
three or four pounds there are as many as a hundred billion nerve cells , or
neurons- as many as the stars in the Milky Way . Yet , unlike the stars , all of these
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Prologue The Land of the Lotuseaters
Memory and Personal Identity
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